7. A Walk on the Moon (1999)
The Movie: Similar to The Good Girl, a pretty wife (Diane Lane) with a family is bored of the monotony of her life during the summer of ’69. Her husband is busy working and their marriage at an early age forced her to put her dreams on hold. Luckily for her, a handsome stranger comes knocking and soon she’s at Woodstock, painting their naked bodies, and having fun… you know hot adulterous sex.
Why you should NOT watch with your SO: If you’re in a marriage or long term relationship in which one party works long hours, this is NOT the film for you. Lane’s character is viewed as a heroine during her ramblings with the passionate stranger (Viggo Mortenson). She’s someone who frees herself from an unwanted life, but let’s look at reality… her husband’s only visible flaw is that he works too hard for his family. The movie delves into the moral dilemmas, but gives the cheating spouse way too much leeway and let her have way too much fun.
6. Little Children (2006)
The Movie: Stay at home dad (Patrick Wilson) and stay at home mom (Kate Winslet) meet at park with their kids. Wilson is unhappy in his career path and his wife (Jennifer Connelly) is out making movies. Naturally he begins a lusty affair with Winslet in almost full sight. There’s also subplots about a recently released pedophile, and a friend whose marriage is on the fritz from too much internet pornography.
Why you should NOT watch with your SO: What, the pedophile and internet porn didn’t do it for you? This film takes the “bored housewife cheats” cliché and turns it around with a bored house husband instead. There seems to be a pervasive theme among these films that any spouse whose partner works too much will inevitably cheat. What follows is an uncomfortable talk about spicing up your marriage and sex life and that conversation doesn’t usually end happy, but rather with two depressed and angry people alone in a living room.
5. Unfaithful (2002)
The Movie: Diane Lane AGAIN! This time she’s Connie, a suburban wife who literally walks into a dark handsome stranger… sound familiar. Of course an affair sparks, only for her husband Ed (Richard Gere) to notice how strange she seems. After confirming his suspicion with a private investigator, Ed tracks the man down and kills him in the heat of the moment.
Why you should NOT watch with your SO: Now who’s the bigger evil doer? Let the debate begin! This movie posits that adultery is literally a bump in the street away and that someone may turn to murder at the drop of a hat. Better, since (SPOILER ALERT)…
They decide to stay together at the end once all the dirty laundry is aired. And really; you shouldn’t need me to tell you not to watch a movie called “Unfaithful” with your significant other. That’s just common sense… right?
4. The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
The Movie: Jason Segal and Emily Blunt are a couple who get engaged and everything and anything prevents them from sealing the deal. Amongst the themes explored here is the postponement of one’s dreams, long distance relationships, relocations, and of course unmet expectations. In other words; pure unadulterated happiness!
Why you should NOT watch with your SO: What was billed as a cute romantic comedy quickly devolves into a dark, unfunny look at relationships, forcing the viewers to question every aspect of their own union. The ending is really never in doubt, but you kinda know the marriage won’t last as long as the engagement. Oh and if you happen to be engaged or building towards it… this might not be the right choice to watch at all.
3. Indecent Proposal (1992)
The Movie: Adrian Lyne gets 3 films on the list and another where the title just gives away the plot. A desperate couple goes to Vegas looking for one last break. They get it not from the craps table, but rather the billionaire who sees Demi Moore and offers them $1 million for one night with her. To quote Keanu Reeves in Speed… “What do you do?”
Why you should NOT watch with your SO: Do you really want to have the obvious conversation here? “How much would it take for you to let me sleep with someone else?” If you ask that question you are just asking for it. Further debates over your shared dreams versus one’s selflessness and selfishness can make the night on the couch very uncomfortable.
2. This is 40 (2012)
The Movie: Judd Apatow officially stops being funny in the endless “dramedy” about a couple turning 40 (duh) who realize they HATE everything about their lives, themselves, their kids and pretty much everything else.
Why you should NOT watch with your SO: (Spoiler Alert!) My wife actually left the room mad at me during the shower scene-yes there’s a shower scene-yes I thought it was cool-she did not. (Among a list of movies filled with couples lying and cheating, no movie shows a more negative view of marriage and family than this. Apatow wrote this and cast his WIFE in the lead! How did she not leave him after reading the script? 5-minutes in and you’ll be staring at your significant other wishing you were somewhere else.
1. Revolutionary Road (2010)
The Movie: Titanic cast mates reunite as Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet play a suburban Connecticut couple in the 50s, with two young kids. He commutes to work in the city, she’s a housewife. They both dream of more but circumstances prevent them from breaking out of the monotony.
Why you should NOT watch with your SO: Well let’s see; there is the obvious stuff like the unhappy suburban couple, the unfulfilled dreams of both, the copious amounts of cheating and sneaky office sex… and then we go to extremes and add in unwanted pregnancies, do-it-yourself abortions and accidental suicides. You will literally feel yourself moving further and further away from your significant other until you’re at opposite ends of the house.
Author Bio: Dan Torkel grew up in Brooklyn, NY and has been watching movies since age 2 when his parents took him to see Sesame Street’s Follow that Bird. His first job was an usher at a UA theatre where he used his $5.15 an hour salary to stockpile a huge DVD collection and see all the free movies he could see. He currently teaches history at Abraham Lincoln (NOT Vampire Hunter) High School in Brooklyn, and is happily married with 2 kids.